Year-End Favorites from CMOS Friends

This year, Shop Talk asked some trusted colleagues in publishing to introduce us to a favorite book or website. We hope you find a new love among them!

Literary Hub

“My favorite book-related website these days is definitely Literary Hub, which evolved as a cooperative undertaking among a large group of different publishers (but principally Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature) and rapidly became a go-to source of book reviews, articles, and excerpts, as well as author interviews.”

Doug Seibold, president, Agate Publishing

Valerie Matarese, Editing Research

Valerie Matarese, Editing Research

Editing Research: The Author Editing Approach to Providing Effective Support to Writers of Research Papers explains the how and why of the editorial niche of ‘author editing.’ Authors’ editors work directly with academic researchers, especially those who are non-native English speakers and writers, to edit their research papers. (Disclosure: I was interviewed for the book.)”

Katharine O’Moore-Klopf, ELS, consulting medical editor

The New Uxbridge English Dictionary,

The New Uxbridge English Dictionary
, 18th ed. (precisely) “Comprehensively reviled”

The New Uxbridge English Dictionary improves on the meaning of words by making them more ridiculous. Examples:

Optimist:  A view through a cataract.
Liability:  Political skill.

Ted Fishman, journalist, essayist, author of China, Inc. and Shock of Gray


Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a beautiful, bewitching fairy tale that’s full of vivid writing with a capital W.  To me, it had the feeling of being an instant classic. The story had me mesmerized, and I honestly could not put it down.”

Kate Hannigan,  author of The Detective’s Assistant (2016 Golden Kite Award)

Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others

“Ted Chiang does not write your routine spaceships-and-aliens-and-death-rays sort of SF, but rather thoughtful speculation about possible futures or alternative presents; the film Arrival is based on his deep and moving Stories of Your Life and Others—which is about the influence of language on cognition, the metaphysics of time, and the pain of love. (The book was recently republished as a paperback under the title Arrival.)”

Geoff Pullum, professor of general linguistics, University of Edinburgh

Catriona McPherson, Quiet Neighbors

Catriona McPherson, Quiet Neighbors

Quiet Neighbors is set in a stuffed-full bookstore in a small Scottish village, where a woman running from the chaos of her life finds mystery, friendship—and family. The quiet neighbors, by the way, are dead.”

Lori Rader-Day, Mary Higgins Clark Award–winning author of Little Pretty Things

Dramatists Guild Resource Directory

Dramatists Guild Resource Directory

“The Dramatists Guild Resource Directory offers dramatic writers everything they need to know—dates, names, addresses, and submission guidelines—to target their work to specific theatres and playwriting competitions across the US.”

Will Dunne, resident playwright and faculty member, Chicago Dramatists

John Guzlowski, Echoes of Tattered Tongues

John Z. Guzlowski, Echoes of Tattered Tongues

“Elegant and intimate, this collection of poems chronicling the experiences of refugees who survived the maelstrom of World War II is essential to an understanding of the world refugee crisis of today.”

Leonard Kniffel, author/blogger at

Patricia T. O’Conner, Woe Is I

Patricia T. O’Conner, Woe Is I

“When I’m stuck trying to explain in simple English not-so-simple topics like subject-verb agreement when between or from is involved, or with ‘one of the,’ Pat’s straightforward but not pedantic analysis always gets me through.”

Merrill Perlman, freelance editor and consultant, Merrill Perlman Consulting

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